By Neto Baptiste
Alex Isaac Quallis, President and CEO of the US-based 340 Sports Management, has revealed plans to host a baseball talent scouting event here in Antigua.
Quallis, who currently manages Antigua and Barbuda’s Ovis Portes who was recently signed to the Minor League Baseball by the Boston Red Sox, made the revelation while speaking recently on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, adding that Portes’ success could open doors for other Antiguan players.
“My job is scouting and developing players all over the world and then signing them on with major league clubs and so, with baseball developing, it’s always a safe bet to see what’s happening there. I’ve worked with Jermaine in the past and in trying to do some of the things she has accomplished in baseball and seeing some of the talent now rising to where it is, it would only make sense to reassess again and see what we have in terms of talent and see who else we can get to accompany Ovis. It’s a lonely place out there when you’re the only player from somewhere,” he said.
A date for the scouting event has not yet been finalized, but indications are that a date in April is being looked at by the organisers.
Last week, Observer media broke the news that Portes had been signed by the Boston Red Sox. Quallis said the hard work has only now begun for the 17-year-old athlete.
“My role would be to facilitate his transition throughout the Minor League and then get him onto the Major League. It’s a complex system once you get drafted into a process where you have to work though the Minor League for about a three to four-year process and make your name,” he said.
“He’s going to have a lot of training to do, a lot of development, a lot of getting used to in terms of some of the things that are happening professionally around him, both in the game and outside of the game. These things are going to come at you fast, so as his agent or his representative, you want to be on the side of the player to sort of help him through some of these challenges,” he added.
Portes represented Antigua and Barbuda in 2017 in the Caribbean Pre World Series Little League Baseball Tournament played at the then Stanford Cricket Ground located in Coolidge.